Tips from a professional for smartphone photography on the holidays


Photographers at The Denver Post are often asked about cameras. There isn’t a week that goes by that one of us doesn’t hear, “What’s the best camera to buy?” People see our professional gear and want to know, “What camera will help me get photos of my kids playing sports that aren’t blurry?” or, “What camera takes great landscapes, but is it light so I can carry it while hiking?”

In photojournalism, there’s an age-old saying: the best camera is the one you have with you. So, we often respond that their phone camera is all they need. People are usually very surprised by this and ask, “Then why do you have those big cameras hanging from your shoulders?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there aren’t better cameras out there. There are, and we use them. What I am saying is that your cell phone camera is quite capable of doing a great job. To prove the point, all the images included in this article were taken with my iPhone.

If you have the funds, interest, and time to buy a fancy camera like the ones we use for our job, and learn how to use it, they are much better than phone cameras. But even as professionals, Post photographers often use our phones for our personal lives. I lug two big cameras around all day for work, so when I am off the clock, the last thing I want to do is carry those things around some more. On vacations or while doing family activities, I almost always rely on my phone camera to capture moments that are truly important to me.

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